Harvick wins second All-Star race
Harvick led the final 11 laps, holding off Daniel Suarez and Joey Logano on the final restart with two laps to go to earn his second All-Star Victory.
“We needed to be in control of the race to have a chance at winning,” Harvick said. “If we were third or fourth we would have been in big trouble.
“We needed to be on the front row with clean air because that is the only chance our car would handle good enough. It was so fast.”
Rounding out the top five were Daniel Suarez, Joey Logano, Denny Hamlin and Chase Elliott.
As the sun set over Charlotte Motor Speedway, the lights came on and the drivers flipped the switch to turn on their cars. What was seen tonight is nothing like we’ve ever seen in the Cup Series. The racing was close and really exciting, keeping fans on the edge of their seats every lap.
Drivers who advanced to the All-Star race through opportunities in the Open were Alex Bowman, Daniel Suarez and A.J. Allmendinger. The fan vote went to Chase Elliott for the third straight year.
Former All-Star winner Jamie McMurray dropped to the back before the race due to an engine change. On the first lap coming out of Turn 4, Kurt Busch got loose and spun and hit the wall.
Kevin Harvick won stage one in convincing fashion. AJ Allmendinger started the race in the back after racing his way into the All-Star race. Allmendinger finished the first stage in fourth.
In Stage 2, A.J. Allmendinger was running the high line, making eye contact with the wall the whole time. Eventually the wall reached out and bit Allmendinger, giving him a flat tire after the contact with about six to go in the second stage. Last year’s All-Star race winner Kyle Busch captured the stage victory.
On lap 56, Kasey Kahne, who won the All-Star race in 2008, made contact with the wall and brought out the caution.
With two laps left in Stage 3, Alex Bowman just spun around and made heavy contact with the wall, ultimately ending his hopes of claiming the $1 million prize.
The caution created a two-lap shootout to end Stage 3, and the following restart created a four-wide scenario in Turn 3. Several drivers including Martin Truex Jr., Brad Keselowski, Clint Bowyer and both Busch brothers received damage to their racecars.
Once again, the field lined up for another overtime attempt at ending Stage 3. Kevin Harvick ended up winning the third stage, in a close battle with Daniel Suarez who finished second.
The flagman waved the green flag for the field to start the fourth and final stage— and the fans found out exactly what the drivers would do for $1 million.
With two laps to go, Kyle Larson gave Joey Logano no room and Logano bounced off the wall exiting Turn 4. Logano came back across the track and spun Larson around sending him through the grass.
The field lined up once again to finish the final two laps. Harvick continued his dominance by winning the 2018 Monster Energy Cup Series All-Star race, holding off charges from Daniel Suarez.
The next race for the Cup Series is the Coca-Cola 600 next Sunday at Charlotte Motor Speedway.
NASCAR Media Group
Leave a Reply